We made our first venture into non-league football last Saturday when we had a Kick at the The Football Conference game between Darlington and Altrincham.
Adam was nominated by his Mum Joanne, who helps to run the charity Breathtakers UK and went along to watch the game from a private box with seven of his friends, as well as being a Darlington mascot.
Jo told us: “Adam was diagnosed with OB aged 11, he had been treated for asthma since he was a toddler following a bout of pneumonia. We now believe the asthma was a misdiagnosis. He was admitted to our local hospital with severe pneumonia and later transferred to the Freeman hospital where emergency surgery was carried out to treat a cyst on his lung and a collapsed lung, the OB diagnosis followed after.”
Obliterative Bronchiolitis (OB) is a rare and life limiting form of non-reversible obstructive lung disease that occurs in children and adults after injury to the lower respiratory tract.
picture from Darlo uncovered
As well as being a treat for his 13th birthday this week this was a reward for Adam’s determination to not be held back by OB. Last year Adam even ran the Junior Great North Run to raise money for Breathtakers. We were unable to go to Darlington ourselves but here is the story of the day from Joanne:
” We met Deano Brown at stadium at 12:15. He took us to our private box to drop
our belongings off and the boys collected a Darlo pen and a programme each.We received a run down of the day’s events before going on a tour of the meeting and media rooms,
chairman’s office, official’s rooms and the home and away dressing rooms. Next we all went pitchside and sat in the dugouts while Deano talked about the
stadium, the role of the stewards, the pitch and many other things.
After this we returned to the home dressing room where the boys met some of the
players and got their programmes signed. Adam got his Darlo mascot shirt
signed, they all chatted to players and watched some of them have physio before we moved onto our private box.
Lunch was next, after which Darlo No. 8, Gareth Waite popped by to deliver Adam a birthday
card signed by the team and a signed football. His birthday cake arrived
at the same time and we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him. Next on the agenda was a trip to the pitchside to watch Adam have a kick-about on the pitch with Deano
whilst the players were warming up. Then Adam, Deano and I went into the
tunnel ready to lead the team out.
The officials emerged first and the referee shook Adam’s hand. Close behind were the team who joked with Adam, chatted with him and put him at ease,
particularly captain Ian Miller. Adam ran out on the pitch with Ian and the team, joining in with a quick warm-up, before lining up with them to shake the opposition’s hands – one of whom commented that he had particularly sweaty palms!
Adam was photographed with Sam Russell, his favourite player and was present at the toss, then ran off applauding the crowd. We returned to our box
to watch the game which, luckily, was next to where the rest of the team sat so
we watched the game with them.
All the boys had a really good day,particularly Adam. Darlington FC were great, particular
thanks to Deano Brown & the players.”
It sounds like Adam had a fantastic day despite Darlington losing 1-0! Thanks to all involved for making this happen, especially Mandy Sousa at Darlington.